With the range of pesto available, the most widely known would be the traditional combination of basil, pine nuts, parmesan, garlic and olive oil. It’s universal and popular across all ages and cultures and synonymous with Italian cooking.
My mum would certainly abide with the above ingredients and would consider any other variation sacrilegious. Her nonna wisdom would declare anything else is just not real pesto and who would I be to disagree with her – pesto certainly has it’s own cultural identity – its iconic to Italians as pasta is.
My cooking style borrows from “nonna” but is adapted accordingly to suit my own taste, diet and health practices.
I’ve retained the classic ingredients of basil, parmesan and olive oil but made pistachio nuts the main ingredient.
Since making this Pistachio Pesto, it’s been eaten tossed through pasta, as a dip, spread as a sauce on vegetables and fish, used as a tapenade slathered on fresh crusty bread and as bruschetta topping.
Zucchini Pasta with Pistachio Pesto - light, refreshing and healthy with loads of flavour and texture.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 380g Jar
Ingredients ½ Cup shelled pistachio nuts
¼ Cup blanched almonds
Handful fresh basil leaves
¼ Cup grated parmesan cheese
1 Teaspoon lime zest
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
Place all the ingredients except the olive oil into a food processor (or simply use a mortar and pestle) and pound the ingredients to form a paste.
A handful of ingredients combine to create this creamy pesto with a hint of zest which brings the pesto alive.
Add the olive oil slowly until the mixture emulsifies.
Transfer into a small jar with a lid and keep refrigerated. The pesto should last for up to one week.
Use liberally on pasta or on toasted bread or as a dip.
Notes The inclusion of garlic is optional in this recipe.
I suffer from chronic heartburn and indigestion when eating food with garlic and avoid eating or cooking with it. However, for all you garlic lovers out there, be sure to include in your version of this recipe !
Pistachio Pesto tastes superb tossed through pasta, vegetables and fish. It also translates well into a dip, tapenade or eaten simply spread on crusty warm bread or made into a bruschetta.